WHILE HEADED TO CORK for the Annual IT Conference with 10 college students, one topic of discussion focused on The Main Man Robert Scoble. Is his drawing power grounded in his celebrity status or is there something else at work? The students will be attending both the Technical Session where Scoble talks about blogging for business and the obligatory Irish Geek Dinner where 30 bloggers plan to meet up in Proby's Bistro. Both of these events have a celebratory dimension to them. Both have a celebrity factor at work too.
For the celebrity factor to work, the Main Man must have real karma. Unless you follow the ebb and flow of technology topics, you won't cop onto the celebrity status of Robert Scoble. Fewer than one-quarter of the 65 students I teach in the PR course at Tipperary Institute feel a buzz around Scoble doing anything. One student saw the Scoble Flickr European Trip Photostream and quipped, "It's another American couple on holiday. What's the big deal?" Actually, the big deal is an exam question where students are asked to explain the role of celebrity endorsements.
Robert Scoble probably feels uncomfortable with a celebrity spotlight. Yet he is caught in the glare of hundreds of thousands of readers whose view of technology comes through the Scoble soapbox. Sometimes it's a direct illumination like Scoble is doing with the topic of blogging for business in Cork. Other times it's an indirect reverberation that happens with conversations amongst bloggers.
There are many interesting sidebars of the Scoble celebration that I have seen from a distance. Many big names in Public Relations cannot stifle Scoble's amplified effect. Several members of the mainstream Irish media are miffed because their normal channels into Microsoft fail to connect to Scoble. "Is he running his own show?" one journalist asked me. "Come to Cork and see for yourself."
Google finds 50,100 references to "Scoble celebrity", including Robert Scoble's own perspective.
Robert Scoble -- "Some geek fun: Who is the real celebrity?"
Bonus Link: Robert Scoble Podcast with Tom Raftery.
Bonus Info: Scoble's fingerpint: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; Tablet PC 1.7; .NET CLR 1.0.3705; .NET CLR 1) yarn carl lain tease
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